Terracotta roofs, almost endless cobbled streets and the twinkling expanse of the Adriatic Sea. They’re all the drawcards to the spectacular city of Split, perched on Croatia’s coastline. But what if you’re more drawn to extravagant parties, or what this captivating city has to offer after dark? If you prefer swigging cocktails over sauntering around the Old Town, then this list of the best places to party (or just to socialize) in Split is just for you.
Best all-rounder – Tower Pub Crawl
While you might not find a scotch egg or a dingy British bar in sight, you can still celebrate pub culture by signing up to the local Tower pub crawl. The ideal way to brush shoulders with other intrepid travelers, the city hosts a night-time crawl at 10:00 pm every night (including Sundays!), which takes you to a bevy of brilliant bars, giving you a real variety in just one night’s revelry.
Best for people watching – bars on the Riva
The Riva promenade is like the beating heart of Split, a long, picturesque stretch which boasts some of the town’s most famous landmarks, like the Franciscan Monastery and, of course, the breathtaking Diocletian Palace.
But the ‘Riva’ is more than just fabulous facades, but is a pedestrianized epicentre for Split’s best bars, restaurants and cafes, which flank its central nave.
Best for backpackers – Charlie’s Bar
There is always a preferred watering hole for the backpacking gang and, in Split, that place is Charlie’s. You’ll find all the usual hallmarks of a bar aimed at budget travelers – cheap drinks, heaps of house specials and, of course, a social atmosphere that’s particularly great for solo wanderers, or just anyone looking for a natter on their night out.
Best for electro heads – Ultra Europe
It’s a bit of a hack but you can’t exclude one of Europe’s premier music events from a list of nightlife spots on a Split itinerary, as it’s one of the reasons the city is on the international music map. Thousands of electronic music fans flock to the city each year for the festival; over 100,000 of them to be exact.
With previous headliners including Steve Aoki, David Guetta, Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox, Afrojack and Tiesto, to name just a few, Ultra is one of the world’s premier electro events. If you can time it right in July each year, it’s the best way to spend at least a couple of nights in sensational Split.
Best for music lovers – Academic Ghetto Club
Akin to an underground music club, Academia Ghetto Club (or the AGC to those in the know) is a cozy, almost bohemian venue that’s really welcoming, regardless of your budget. A haven for the young and the old, the AGC is well-known as the best place to catch a music gig in town, always boasting a smashing line-up of local bands to entertain you.
Best for quiet culture – Lvxor Kavana
Perhaps you are keen on a night out, but don’t want to be clambering over hordes of other patrons, or downing drinks with abandon? Head to Peristyle Square to Lvxor, where you can relax listening to local musicians, with a nice warm glass of Merlot in hand. Definitely a more peaceful place for those needing a break, with gorgeous Mediterranean interiors to boot.
Best for lazy clubbers – Central the Club
With many of Split’s throbbing nightclubs located out of the city center, you’ve only really got one choice (and a good one at that), if you want to party close to your accommodation: Central the Club. With a spacious dance area, top-notch DJs and an endless flow of multi-colored drinks, it’s a convenient spot to kick off your tour of Split’s nightlife.
Best for party-the-night-awayers – Vanilla Club
If your idea of a good time is a massive outdoor dance floor, the decadence of gyrating dancers and cocktails almost on tap, and humming beats until the early hours, then Vanilla Club should be top of your Split nightlife list. One of the original party spots in Split, you’ll definitely find hardcore partygoers (and the overseas yachting set) in the Vanilla Club arena. It’s a bit out of the way, a stone’s throw from the football stadium which is about 20 minutes out of Old Town, but well worth the wander if you’re wanting a flashy night out.
And, if you like Vanilla Club, definitely make a turn at Hemingway Bar. More a nightclub than a bar, Hemingway is a stalwart of the Split scene, plus has branches in other locations like Zagreb, Opatija and Rijeka too!
Best for night owls – The Tropic Club and Club Bacvice
Overlooking the aquamarine Adriatic is definitely one of the most picturesque party locations in Split, Tropic. Located on Bacvice Beach, Tropic is where people go once the others start to wind down. While it opens at 11:00 pm, this debaucherous destination only really gets going at around 1:00 am, as merrymakers descend, ready to dance to a roster of exceptional DJs cranking out house and hip-hop music.
Tropic has an upmarket dress code (guys should wear long trousers to make sure they crack the nod), so if you’re looking for a more casual night of carousing, head to neighboring Club Bacvice. There you’ll find similar music, just as many party people yet a relaxed vibe and dress code better suited to your style.
Regardless of your party preferences, there’s no doubt that Split’s nightlife delivers in droves. Kick back with a cocktail on the Riva to watch the crowds swarm by, shed your inhibitions at an indulgent beach club or simply find a quiet corner to catch a local outfit bash out their playlist of tunes. Whatever your evening’s festivities, you’ll find your little slice of Split nightlife, the perfect way to enjoy Croatia’s party capital after dark.